KIT Royal Tropical Institute has been supporting CRP MAIZE in strengthening stakeholder interaction and the capacity of its staff to make such interaction contribute to research impact. Together with MAIZE innovation specialists, we document and analyse the work being done in four projects (two in Africa, one in Asia and one in Latin America), supporting cross-learning between projects, as well as with the larger agricultural research community.
Less teaching, more joint learning
The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is a consortium of international research organisations working on agriculture. MAIZE is one of the CGIAR’s Research Programmes.
Between August 2012 and February 2013, KIT was asked by MAIZE to take stock of MAIZE projects that make use of innovation platforms. KIT looked at how stakeholder collaboration takes place, and has provided suggestions for improvement. KIT particularly looked at how scientists and other stakeholders – e.g. farmers, traders and NGOs – interact and to see how these actors have a say in what the project focuses on, and how they provide feedback to researchers.
Review results were used to select a number of pilot projects:
- CSISA (Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia), in India
- SIMLESA (Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume cropping systems for food security in Eastern and Southern Africa), in Kenya
- And SIMLEZA (Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Systems Eastern Province of Zambia) in Zambia.
In addition, MasAgro, in Mexico, will participate in sharing and documenting its present experiences.
The hallmark of these projects is that KIT and MAIZE innovation specialists work together with local staff to use innovation platforms and stakeholder interaction to collectively shape the research agenda. This means less teaching and more joint learning. The team will work with three projects, thoroughly documenting lessons for the scientific community and practitioners.